LETTER TO MR. TRUMP’S TRANSITION TEAM
December 12, 2016
Dear President-elect Trump & Transition Team:
NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice was founded by Catholic Sisters 45 years ago. We are now an organization with members in every State and Congressional District, mostly Catholics but also representing a broad interfaith and non-faith traditions. We work in Washington D.C. to shape policies that improves the lives of those who are too often left out of our economy.
We know that our economy grows when all share in our prosperity. As Pope Francis wrote, we must say “no to an economy of exclusion.” So, we at NETWORK strive for an inclusive economy where all of our people can live in dignity and without fear. We hope you will be a leader that echoes those values and will work with your administration to create an economy that does just that.
We see two specific areas where we can be allies for you in the process of governing.
1. HOUSING: There is a crisis in our country with the lack of access to affordable housing. With your background, I’m certain that you understand how construction both stimulates the economy and allows families to live in dignity and security. We, as a nation, have failed to invest in low and moderate cost housing for decades. We see this as an opportunity for you to demonstrate leadership on this issue. Your capacity to galvanize the construction industry to meet the needs in our cities and towns is very important for making the economy thrive.
2. HEALTHCARE: We were heartened to hear you say to Leslie Stahl on 60 Minutes that in your healthcare reform plan no one who is already covered would go one day without health insurance. You promised that in your reform they would receive better, more affordable coverage. We want to work with you to make this promise a reality. No one should have to live in fear that their healthcare will be taken away from them. This is not right in the richest nation on earth. To that end, we look to your leadership to enact a healthcare plan before allowing the current program to be repealed.
We also have other areas that are the focus of our Mend the Gap work, like TAX JUSTICE and FAMILY-FRIENDLY WORKPLACE POLICIES. I will attach the summary of our policies so that you and your team can see how they work together to grow our economy and build for the future. While working to mend the gaps, NETWORK will continue its advocacy to ensure that current, successful federal programs are protected and enhanced so as not to increase the current divides.
The area in which we have the greatest concern about your administration is in the area of IMMIGRATION. An estimated eleven million immigrants in our nation do not have current visas. Hundreds of thousands of young people were brought here by their parents, and this is the only nation that they call home. Catholic teaching states that we must “welcome the stranger,” and these families are integral parts of our neighborhoods, churches, and economy. We will oppose and resist any effort to detain and/or deport the immigrant members of our community. We urge you to support a way forward that recognizes the true importance of their service to our nation and our economy.
We urge you to know that our nation will be great when all can live secure in basic dignity. It is as Pope Francis told Congress in September, 2015:
“A nation can be considered great when it defends liberty as Lincoln did, when it fosters a culture which enables people to “dream” of full rights for all their brothers and sisters, as Martin Luther King sought to do; when it strives for justice and the cause of the oppressed, as Dorothy Day did by her tireless work; and the fruit of a faith which becomes dialogues and sows peace in the contemplative style of Thomas Merton.”
In this vision we request to work with your administration to “Mend the Gaps” that are tearing our society apart. If you act as the President for the 100%, you will have our support. However, if you promote policies that denigrate the dignity of any human being or put forth policies that exacerbate the income and wealth gaps in our country, we will work to oppose your proposals.
We urge you to govern, not for the partisan edge, but for the common good.
Sr. Simone Campbell, SSS
NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice